Dream Big & Buy The Shoes

May 27, 2016

Gift Giving 101: An Easy Guide to Choosing the Perfect Gift

I don't know about you, but I LOVE giving gifts. The thought of shopping during the holiday season doesn't daunt me, it excites me. If I could be a personal shopper or gift giver, I totally would. In all reality, I know that it doesn't come easily or without stress for everyone. I'm here to offer some ways to help you throughout the process of gift giving from start to finish.

Start early.
-Take in to account when holidays or celebrations are coming. Father's Day is next month, but that doesn't mean you can't start shopping now. It's never too early to browse. I love getting ideas and browsing through websites online. One great place to shop is Uncommon Goods since they have awesome gifts year round. You can shop their Gifts for Men here to get started for Father's Day. 

Shop where there's a variety.
- I love stores or websites where I can purchase multiple gifts for a bunch of people on my list. Uncommon Goods is one of those places where there's an awesome variety. Whether it's a girly gift for a friend's birthday (shop those great options here)...hi birthstone wishing ball, I'm talking to you...or a unique housewarming gift for someone special, Uncommon Goods has you covered. I love funny gifts, yes...including doormats that state "Nice Underwear" and being able to shop for several people all in one stop makes gift giving super easy. I love that Uncommon Goods aims to feature so many different artists and creative people crafting projects by hand and working hard to make it in this world. I'm all about supporting someones dreams, and so is their company.

Do your homework.
-Take a look at their Pinterest boards. Anything Dad has loved lately? Have you seen your friend post about some great thing they recently spotted at the store? Take some time to see what they are currently enjoying or lusting after. The great thing about online shopping, like Uncommon Goods is that you can browse any time of the day or night, year round. I often get great ideas at weird hours, like late at night when I'm in bed. I find myself looking through websites and doing shopping at crazy hours. I have found some of the best birthday gifts online at Uncommon Goods. Check out their unique birthday gifts here. Know a wine fanatic? I do! How about gifting them these awesome food and drink pairing towels for the kitchen?

Keep a list of ideas.
- I have a notes section on my phone for gift ideas. When I see something that makes me think of someone, I add it to the list. If a friend or family member mentions something they love that they may not purchase for themselves, I pop the note in my phone. Keeping a running list not only makes you organized, it takes off the pressure of buying a ton of gifts all at once. Getting an idea for a gift is half the battle when it comes to gift giving. By jotting things down on a list you're always one step ahead. 

Make the presentation part of the gift.
-Want to step your gift giving up a notch? Find accent pieces that accompany the focus of your gift and make it in to one great presentation. Uncommon Goods has so many great gifts that add on to your primary piece and tie it all together. I love the selection of dish towels, barware, and gifts in a variety of price ranges. Gift giving doesn't have to be stressful when shopping is this fun. I put together a dish towel with this drink caddy to make the perfect pair in to a gift.
Think outside the (( gift )) box *wink wink*

Do you have any helpful tips when it comes to gift giving? What's your favorite place to shop for gifts?

I was given products from Uncommon Goods in exchange for a review. All opinions and comments are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that work with Dream Big & Buy the Shoes.

May 25, 2016

Thoughts From The Bathtub

This is just a typical night in my life. Read along for some raw thoughts straight outta the tub.

How do people relax in here?
I should have brought wine
No. Wine makes me sleepy then I may drown
I can't swim, wonder if I could learn in the bathtub
I should clean the bathtub and shower better
Wonder if I could make my own cleaner
I need to do a new craft project, it's been too long
Maybe I could make a cell phone holder for the tub
I should write this all down
Where's my phone?
Oh shoot, don't bring the phone in...you know what happened last time ((see caption below))

Wait, all this time wasted---you need to clean yourself
My razor is all the way up there
Standing up in the bathtub is weird, unless I'm getting out
Who needs to shave their legs anyways?
My loofah matches this hot pink bath oil
Who knew I liked hot pink so much
Wait, is this damn bath oil staining my hands pink?!
How in the HELL do people relax in here?

I'm OUT!

May 23, 2016

Beauty On A Budget // Face Primer

As Lindsay and I were discussing what we would cover next for our series, we discovered that one of us loves drugstore face primers and high end concealers and the other loves drugstore concealers and high end face primers...can you guess who's who?

Today we decided that each of us would cover what we loved and used the best in our respected budget friendly areas and allow you to visit the other's blog to see the thoughts and opinions on the other product.

To be honest, I've only been using a face primer for a few years, and boy I'm glad I started. My makeup covers so much better and without a doubt stays on that much better too.

face primers on a budget

Today I'll give a review on my three favorite primers that I've found that don't break the bank.

First up, NYX Pore Filler. Coming in at $13.99 it isn't the cheapest, but I feel that primers are a different beast in the beauty category. If you want something that works effectively, you sometimes need to shell out a little more money. While I notice that my makeup has a good base with this primer and it applies easier, I do not feel that it's a huge pore filler. I don't have the smallest pores, but I also don't feel that mine are awful. If you're looking for a good primer though, you can count on it with this one. I've also mentioned before that Ulta often does a buy one, get one 50% off with NYX products...so that's always a good time to add something like this to your beauty bag.

Next, a recent addition with the  Maybelline Instant Age Rewind  with a lower price tag of $8.99. I couldn't resist picking this up a few weeks ago on my latest Ulta run, but it can be found at several different drug stores which is nice. I am really loving this primer. I use about a penny sized drop and it covers my whole face well and gives the silkiest canvas to apply my liquid foundation without leaving me shiny halfway through the day. It really helps control my somewhat oily face and is a perfect base. You won't be disappointed with this purchase if you're looking for a basic primer.

Last but not least, the NYX Shine Killer.  This primer is also priced at $13.99 but is well worth it if you have issues with shine. This has worked especially well during the sticky summer months for my skin. It moisturizes and still leaves my makeup with a matte look on my face which is perfect. You don't need much at all. I've had it for several months and until I recently picked up the Maybelline primer had been using it almost every day.  

budget friendly face products

To be honest, I've only tried a few other primers that don't fit in to the Beauty On A Budget category, and of them all I would recommend Maybelline Instant Age Rewind as the number one choice if you're looking for a new product. I know everyone's skin is different, but with my combination skin it does work best so coming in at $8.99 it's worth a try for anyone.

Be sure to visit Lindsay today and check out what she's recommending in the category of concealers.

Do you have a favorite primer? What would you like to see Lindsay and I talk about next time for Beauty On A Budget?

May 20, 2016

The Time I Met 50 Cent

So every good celebrity story should start with a fun city, right?! Right. Well, none better than Las Vegas for mine.

Let's take it back to 2012!! It was Chuck & I first trip to Las Vegas together and we had found a ridiculously awesome Groupon for a stay at Hard Rock which included an all you can drink wristband at their main bar from 12pm- 12 am every day. You can imagine the fun that in itself brought.

It was the second to last night of our trip and we were down at the bar enjoying some drinks while we waited for our limo to take us to our dinner reservations and all of a sudden I see a TON of huge (I swear they were seven foot tall) men walking through the lobby. I said to Chuck "Someone famous is here." All these people coming in a herd wearing jackets that said "The Money Team" on the back and I'm thinking, what the heck is The Money Team? We get alerted that our limo has arrived and Chuck goes out front to let them know we are coming while I'm waiting for our friends to come. 
I'm standing there watching all these people walk through and at this point I am convinced someone important is here by the amount of security that is coming. All of a sudden I see none other than 50 Cent and I scream. I look ahead and Chuck is standing by a door with wide eyes and he says "Holy shit, I just held the door for 50 Cent."

At this point we are going to be late for our dinner reservations, but my trap queen soul is wanting to just forget dinner and run after 50. We get in the limo and immediately start searching things on our phone. The Money Team is Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s group and he had a fight that weekend, so our assumption is 50 was there to watch. The whole ride to dinner I am frrrreaking out about the fact that 50 Cent is somewhere in our hotel and start to think of the possibilities. Is he staying on our floor? There's no way...so, how do I gain access to the suites? What do I say when I go to hug him? Does he remember me from that concert at Penn State when I fell down the steps after a few too many drinks and one too many butt shakes? Will he rap me a verse?
Chuck had about enough of me babbling the whole ride, but I told him that when we got back to Hard Rock I was on the search for 50, I wasn't letting him leave.

We get back to the hotel and immediately I'm off...I go straight to the Front Desk and ask if they've seen him. I don't know why I thought they would tell me if they had, I'm a fool. So what do I do next? Wander through the slot machines, like he's going to be sitting down playing one. I finally get smart and think...maybe he's at a restaurant. So obviously I head to the most expensive restaurant, the steak joint...because if a man is going to eat, that's probably where he would be, right?! Wrong.

I come back to the main bar area...which if you've ever been to Hard Rock you know is a giant circle. The bar is a few steps up but the front lobby loops around in one big circular area. I'm standing by the bar when I look over to our favorite place to dine all week (and during my other trips to Vegas)...Mr. Lucky's. The set up of the restaurant is an open area with an exposed kitchen and from the lobby you can see every single table inside it. The restaurant is roped off and sure enough there is a herd of black jackets sitting up there eating. No shit, 50 Cent is sitting in a freaking diner at Hard Rock and no one even notices. NO ONE! I run over and pull my phone out and a very large member of his security team steps in front of me and asks me to not disrupt his dinner. Ok, I get it. But...I'm just trying to creep...let me get ONE picture.

Naturally he's surrounded by women. I'm talking about 20 women and a team of security, those stinking 7 foot tall men who won't let me take pictures. I realize that they aren't going to be okay with me taking a picture so I go back to the bar and wait. And wait. Finally I see people about to move and I get up and walk towards the restaurant. He walks out with his security team and I walk behind them trying to get pictures. I try to run in front and take a selfie with him and a large man stops me again. So as he walks away I scream "I love you 50!" and Curtis Jackson replied "I love you too girl!"...it was a moment I'll never forget. I about passed out.

We followed them outside of the Hard Rock and there were over six $100,000 cars lined up. 50 Cent got in one car, then the cars moved and rearranged their positions. People were loading bags in and out of different cars while a crowd started to form. So many people didn't even realize that 50 Cent was in one of them and were asking what was going on. We stood there until they finally all pulled away and then my life was complete. But really...thank you for loving me back 50 Cent, I can now leave a satisfied woman.

So that's it. No outstanding posed pictures (thanks Security)...but 50 Cent did admit his love for me, so I'll take it. Be sure to hop over to Macy's page and read all about her celebrity encounter.
Link up below...I can't wait to hear your stories!

Dream Big, And Buy The Shoes